I’m thinking of buying my first home. What steps should I take to prepare?
It’s a good idea to speak to a mortgage professional prior to beginning your search for a new home. Getting pre-qualified for your mortgage will allow you to shop for a new home with confidence. And it will also show potential sellers that you are a qualified buyer. You should also discuss all of the costs associated with getting a mortgage. This includes any lender fees, your attorney fees and possible escrows for property taxes and insurance. As a first time home buyer you can take advantage of as little as 3% down payment.
Review your credit. As a lender, we are going to review your credit report as part of the normal underwriting process of the loan. Therefore, it’s a good idea for you to take an advanced look at what is currently reported by the major credit bureaus. If you need to correct any erroneously reported data, or satisfy (pay) any old judgment liens in order to improve your credit rating, you will want to address those issues as soon as possible.
How are interest rates determined?
Interest rates fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including inflation, the pace of economic growth, and Federal Reserve policy. Additional factors such as your credit scores and down payment may affect how your interest rate is determined.
Should I lock in my interest rate or to let it float?
Mortgage interest rate movements are as hard to predict as the stock market and no one can really know for certain whether they’ll go up or down. It’s a good idea to speak to a mortgage professional about locking the rate when you apply for the loan. If you do not want to take the risk of rate volatility you may want to consider locking the rate. In some cases when there is a substantial improvement in rates it may be possible to renegotiate the rate, but generally once you lock in the rate you should be prepared to accept the rate you have chosen to secure.
Is there a fee charged for pre-qualification or for submitting a loan application?
There’s no cost at all for completing our application or requesting a pre-qualification. After your loan is reviewed by a Loan Officer to meet our underwriting guidelines, your Loan Officer will explain the next steps of the application process.
When can I lock in my interest rate?
You can lock in your interest rate upon receipt of a completed loan application, required documentation, and after a Loan Officer has had an opportunity to review your application and has determined that your application meets your particular program mortgage guidelines. At that point, you will be contacted for additional instructions, to include how to lock in your rate.
Is there any prepayment penalties charged for these loan programs?
None of the loan programs we offer have penalties for prepayment. You can pay off your mortgage or pre pay principal at any time with no additional charges.